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Reaffirming Commitment to Negotiated Settlement of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHABOT. I thank the distinguished chair for yielding. Israel has no greater friend than Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida.

Despite some progress that has been made toward ensuring Israel's continued security, critical challenges still exist. Rejectionist elements within the Palestinian leadership still refuse to sit and negotiate in good faith even as Israel repeatedly expresses its commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state. These elements spurn Israeli overtures and seek to establish a Palestinian state unilaterally through a vote of the U.N. General Assembly.

Although short-term security may be achievable unilaterally, peace is not. Palestinian rejectionism, whether by Hamas or Fatah, must be abandoned. U.S. taxpayer money should, under no circumstances, go to the Palestinian government, whose members do not all abide by the Three Quartet principles: recognizing the state of Israel's right to exist; renouncing terrorism; and abiding by previous agreements.

[Time: 17:50]

And just as the U.S. should not support a Palestinian government whose very composition is anathema to peace, so, too, should it not support an institution that offers an easy alternative to genuine peace through negotiations. That is why I recently introduced a resolution calling on the administration to cut all funding to the U.N. General Assembly should it vote to recognize a Palestinian state in direct defiance of the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. Charter. True Israeli-Palestinian peace will only be made between two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, and not the 191 other members of the General Assembly.

Israel, like the United States, welcomes those who would make peace even as it fights those who would make war. Time and again, Israel has demonstrated its commitment to a Palestinian state living as its neighbor in peace and security, but there are no shortcuts on the path to this outcome, and there is no getting around the hard concessions that will have to be made. The U.S. must now stand with Israel and against those who would obstruct rather than advance the cause of peace.

I urge the adoption of this resolution.

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